Faith

Value of honesty

Most people have to be reminded of the need to lead a virtuous life. But according to the Tamil Jain work Naladiyar, there are some people who do not have to be advised in this respect, said Malayaman in a discourse. He whose ears do not listen to the secrets of others, he whose eyes do not cast lustful glances at another man’s wife, he whose mouth is never used to utter lies, is a person who need not be reminded of the need for good conduct.

Thiruvalluvar talks about how an individual must conduct himself and of how a society should strive to be a virtuous one. He says not coveting another man’s wife is a great virtue. Naladiyar says that fame and friendship will desert one who has sinful thoughts towards another’s wife. Thiruvalluvar lauds the practice of not speaking ill of a person behind his back. Thiruvalluvar stresses the value of honesty. He says that if a person is honest and does not utter lies, then it does not matter even if he does not perform other meritorious deeds. It is not enough to be pure in words and deeds. Tiruvalluvar goes one step further and says that we should have pure thoughts. We can have pure thoughts only if we avoid certain tendencies. Thirvalluvar lists these too. He explains through his verses that envy, anger, harsh words and greed are hindrances to our having pure thoughts.

Thiruvalluvar says that he who is envious of another’s success is one who is disinterested in dharmic actions and the punyas that come through them. He says that desires bring sorrow and so fearing desires is dharmic. Dharma awaits to enter the life of one who is well read, is free from anger and lives a life of self-control. If we speak sincere words that are of benefit to others and are also soothing, then dharma will reign supreme.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 1:38:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/value-of-honesty/article26251786.ece

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